Publishing Research Data in figshare
The University encourages researchers to share their data publically while acknowledging that there may be reasons why this cannot occur.
Before you place your data/ metadata in any data repository you must ensure that you are permitted to do so in accordance with any legal, ethical, funding, publication, confidentiality or contractual obligations associated with the data.
Policies and guidelines
You must ensure sharing of any data or metadata is in accordance with the relevant policies and guidelines as follows:
Questions to consider before publishing
Collaborative research questions
- Who owns the data?
- Do you have permission of any collaborating partners to share the data?
- Are there restrictions to sharing the data due to intellectual property rights, copyright or patents?
Ethics, privacy and sensitive data questions
- Is the data information about human participants, including individuals, organisations or businesses?
- Did you obtain the consent of each participant in your research to share their data? This could be gained explicitly through an item on a Consent Form or implied consent if the associated Participant Information Sheet indicated to the participants that you propose to share the data collected from/about them with other researchers. If you do not have consent from a participant you cannot share the participant's data.
- Did the information and consent forms indicate that only members of the research team will have access to the data? If so, you have already precluded sharing.
- Is the data subject to the Privacy Act? Does the data maintain the confidentiality of participants and their personal information? Has the data been appropriately de-identified before sharing? Personal data should not be disclosed unless specific consent has been obtained to do so and any sharing must not breach the Privacy Act.
- Could there be a risk to individuals, a business or organisation if you share their data, even if you have their consent? Consider cultural, political, and commercial sensitivities that could make sharing the data a risk to those whom the data is about.
- What is the level of anonymity required to maintain confidentiality of the individuals or groups involved? If you have consent to identify individuals, groups or entities is your data adequately de-identified to meet the agreed levels of consent obtained in relation to identification?
- Are there limitations to the approval obtained for sharing? Can the data only be shared for similar types of research, to specific researchers/groups or on condition of subsequent ethics approval? Are there specific limitations or is the sharing approval unspecified?
- Would sharing the data reveal information about:
- A sensitive, secret or sacred location?
- A vulnerable or endangered species?
- An environmental or ecological site that needs to be protected?
- Religious, heritage or culturally sensitive matters?
- Could there be an adverse effect if others become aware of the sensitive data?
- Can re-identification of the data be made if the dataset is combined with another existing available dataset, or linked with several other datasets?
Contractual arrangements questions
- Is there a confidentiality clause restricting dissemination or disclosure of information/data?
- Did you access the information from an existing databank or data archive?
- Did you obtain the data from another data supplier? Are you permitted to share the data under the access agreement? Do you need third party authorisation from the data owner before sharing data?
- Can you share metadata but not raw data through a repository? Can data be shared upon request, rather than on download?
- Is there an embargo period before data can be shared?
Prior published items
Be aware that you may not be able to publish an article in your journal of choice if content has been previously published elsewhere. For example, research data or conference posters/ presentations.
What should you do to be sure?
- Check the journal requirements before publishing an item.
- HDR Students - talk to your supervisor before publishing an item.
- Use the embargo function in Figshare to ensure your research data/ conference poster isn't published before your journal article.
- Contact the Support Team for assistance with your specific journal publisher's policy.
Find more information about major journal publisher policies below.
Selecting a licence for your Data
If you upload your data to Figshare, by default it will be published under a CC-BY licence. Check whether you need to choose a different licence category that will apply additional conditions for re-use - for example, about how the data can be used, how to attribute/acknowledge the data owner, etc.